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Tim's Auto Repair
Tim's Auto Repair, mechanic
Category: Mercury
Satisfied Customers: 16029
Experience:  Have owned a repair shop for 25 yrs.
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Coolant fumes coming out the hood when i stop..heater core..cabin

Customer Question

there is a leak in the cooling system and i see coolant fumes coming out the hood when i stop. i took the heater core out first cause i smelt it in the cabin. it was good. then i replaced the radiator cap. now the thermostat. i cannot see any leaks from the hoses. when its full it gets good heat. then of course when it gets too low, no heat. the temp guage always stays good. im stumped any advice.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mercury
Expert:  Tim's Auto Repair replied 6 years ago.


you may need to replace the water pump..the water pump has a weep hole in it and is made to leak when the bearing in the pump is bad...i would think the coolant is steaming out of the weep would also be a good idea to replace the timing belt also while you have it apart if the belt has not been replaced in a while..the heater wont work when it gets low on coolant


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1999-00 3.3L Engines

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.

CAUTION Never open, service or drain the radiator or cooling system when hot; serious burns can occur from the steam and hot coolant. Also, when draining engine coolant, keep in mind that cats and dogs are attracted to ethylene glycol antifreeze and could drink any that is left in an uncovered container or in puddles on the ground. This will prove fatal in sufficient quantities. Always drain coolant into a sealable container. Coolant should be reused unless it is contaminated or is several years old.

  1. Drain the radiator and recycle the engine coolant.

NOTE The following steps require the use of a strap wrench to hold the water pump pulley while loosening and tightening the bolts. If a strap wrench is not available, loosen the bolts before removing the drive belts. The drive belt tension will help keep the pulley from turning while loosening the bolts.

  1. Remove the A/C compressor, alternator, and water pump/power steering pump drive belts.
  2. Use a strap wrench to hold the water pump pulley and loosen the four water pump pulley bolts.
  3. Remove the water pump pulley bolts and remove the pulley.
  4. Raise and safely support the front of the vehicle securely on jackstands.
  5. Remove the crankshaft pulley. Please refer to Crankshaft Pulley, Removal and Installation for the procedure.
  6. Remove the six lower timing belt cover bolts.
  7. Lower the vehicle.
  8. Remove the upper radiator hose bracket bolt. Remove the upper radiator hose from the intake manifold water outlet.
  9. Remove the coolant bypass hose.
  10. Remove the three bolts from the A/C compressor idler pulley bracket and remove the bracket.
  11. Disconnect the vacuum reservoir hose.
  12. Unclip and reposition the front engine wiring harnesses away from the timing belt covers.
  13. Unclip the spark plug wire from the bracket. Remove the bracket bolt and set the bracket aside.
  14. Release the outer clamps from the PCV breather hoses. Remove the PCV tube bracket bolt and remove the tube with the hoses attached.
  15. Remove the seven upper timing belt cover bolts. Remove the upper and lower timing belt covers.
  16. Remove the six water pump bolts. Note the location of the water pump stud/bolt to ensure proper installation on reassembly.
  17. Remove the water pump.


To install:

  1. The installation is the reverse of removal, but please note the following important steps.
  2. Clean the block surface and the water pump mating surface if the old pump is to be reinstalled. A gasket scraper and solvent may be used, however, be careful not to nick or gouge either surface.
  3. Apply a continuous bead of RTV silicone sealant 0.08-0.12 inch (2.0-3.0mm) wide to the water pump mating surface.

NOTE Allow the sealant to dry for at least 30 minutes before adding coolant.

  1. Install the water pump and start all of the bolts. Be sure that the water pump stud/bolt is in the proper location.
  2. Tighten the water pump bolts to 12-15 ft. lbs. (16-21 Nm).
  3. Tighten the upper and lower timing belt cover bolts to 26-43 inch lbs. (3-5 Nm).
  4. Tighten the A/C idler pulley bracket bolts to 12-15 ft. lbs. (16-21 Nm).
  5. Tighten the upper radiator hose bracket bolt to 34-48 ft. lbs. (46-65 Nm).
  6. Tighten the water pump pulley bolts to 78-95 inch lbs. (9-11 Nm).
  7. Tighten the crankshaft pulley bolt to 141-156 ft. lbs. (191-211 Nm).
  8. Run the engine and check for leaks.

FIG : Water pump and water pump bolt location image

FIG : Using a strap wrench to hold the water pump pulley while loosening the bolts image

FIG : Water pump sealant application image